Category Archives: Headphones

Tech Review: Edifier G4 Gaming Headphones: Boom, boom, boom

Gaming headsets have reached an interesting tipping point. For years many of them weren’t worth the price of the box they came in. They sported ugly, heavy designs, poor quality materials and sound quality to match. But over the last five years manufacturers have — to my shock — begun to shift their focus towards a quality product and now we find ourselves at another strange crossroads. Legitimate and respected home audio brands, in this case Edifier, are getting into the gaming headset space. With their G4 headset, Edifier are coming into an already crowded market with plenty of experience behind them. How do they stack up? Continue reading Tech Review: Edifier G4 Gaming Headphones: Boom, boom, boom

Tech Review: HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Gaming Headphones: Long, loud life

Gaming headphones have come such a long way in the last couple of years, particularly those of the wireless variety. Gone are the days of terrible sound and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it battery lives. Now, if you aren’t providing premium quality sound, no-one wants a bar of you. HyperX has always seemed to be a gaming peripheral maker that knew this better than anyone else in the space. In the Cloud Flight wireless headset, they’ve created what might be their best audio work to date. Continue reading Tech Review: HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Gaming Headphones: Long, loud life

Tech Review: Plantronics RIG 800LX Gaming Headset: Big money, no whammies

For the longest time, I railed against gaming headphones across the board. As an audiophile, there was no part of them anyone did right. They were all huge, heavy and ugly with huge bass that blew the sound to hell. In the last couple of years however, I’ve found myself finally coming around on gaming headsets — or perhaps peripheral makers have finally realised there’s a way to court picky bastards like me. In their RIG 800LX PC and Xbox One headset, Plantronics have made a wireless unit that is very difficult for me to nitpick. Continue reading Tech Review: Plantronics RIG 800LX Gaming Headset: Big money, no whammies

Tech Review: Razer Electra V2 USB Gaming Headset: Back to basics and a step forward

When it comes to gaming headphones, Razer’s cans have never been my favourites. They’ve always been clunky, heavy things with sound that rarely came close to meeting my expectations. I wanted to put all that on front street because, if the Electra V2 is any indication, Razer’s headset efforts might have finally found their groove at last. Continue reading Tech Review: Razer Electra V2 USB Gaming Headset: Back to basics and a step forward

Tech Review: Sony WI-1000X Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones: Plane weird

I frequently argue in my headphone reviews that the look, the exterior design of a particular kit is rarely terribly important to me. If a pair of headphones sound great, I’m usually happy to wear them  no matter how hideous they may be. Sony’s WI-1000X Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones have broken my resolve. They do sound great and the noise cancellation is quite solid. But I can’t get past how ugly they are. Continue reading Tech Review: Sony WI-1000X Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones: Plane weird

Tech Review: Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones: The real deal

I can be prickly when reviewing headphones. I try not to be, but as the son of a musician I was raised in a home where good quality sound was considered very important and its an expectation I’ve never been able to shake in adulthood. I expect a lot from my headphones, even the cheap ones. I don’t like being mean to headphones that don’t measure up to my lofty personal standards, but it means that when I encounter a pair that does, I get to lavish them with praise. Thus, this review will be about me lavishing praise upon Sony’s WH-1000XM2 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones. Continue reading Tech Review: Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones: The real deal

Tech Review: Grado RS2e Reference Series Headphones: Hear it all

I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing gaming headphones on this site. They are rarely paragons of the form — gaming headsets are heavy, often lean into bass to the point where it obliterates higher end sound and have a cheap build quality that doesn’t align with their purpose as long-term audio solutions. I say all of this because the Grado RS2e’s are among the few headphones I’ve gotten to review for The Iris that are not built for gaming. Indeed, the Grado RS2e’s have been built, with meticulous care, for the sole purpose of listening to music in the comfort of your own home. Continue reading Tech Review: Grado RS2e Reference Series Headphones: Hear it all

Tech Review: Logitech G433 7.1 Wired Surround Gaming Headset

Logitech have made a name for themselves in the tech accessories market for dependable, well-built but ultimately pretty safe devices. There’s rarely any going out on a limb for Logitech, and its a strategy that’s worked out quite well for them. Their G433 gaming headset is no exception. Continue reading Tech Review: Logitech G433 7.1 Wired Surround Gaming Headset

Tech Review: HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro Gaming Headset: Bang for buck

It’s risky to send me headphones for review, especially gaming headphones. I am a hard-to-please audiophile at the best of times and gaming headsets never pass muster for me. Almost without exception the mix is bad, the weight oppressive and the degree to which they clamp down on your ears borderline painful. So intense is my distaste for the vast majority of gaming headphones, I’ve taken to using a pair of Sennheiser 598’s with an external mic when gaming on PC or console. I tell you all of that, so I can tell you this: I’ve never liked a pair of gaming cans as much as I like the HyperX Cloud Alphas. Continue reading Tech Review: HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro Gaming Headset: Bang for buck